In a feat of workmanship and precision, Greubel Forsey is taking traditional watchmaking to new unprecedented heights with the Hand Made 1, 95% of the timepiece is made using only hand-operated tools, in a process taking an extraordinary 6,000 hours of work -that’s equivalent to 300 years of man-hours! If that’s not impressive, nothing is!
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have amassed extensive experience in hand craftsmanship, in prototypes as well as replacement parts for restoration. By creating the Hand Made 1, they secured the transmission of their know-how to future generations through the first incarnation of this out-and-out approach. Bringing such an epic watch to life required a specially dedicated team of the most skilled craftsmen in each field, coming together as a true “family”. And thus was born a landmark in the history of watchmaking.
An hours/minutes/seconds timepiece with a tourbillon, the Hand Made 1 was entirely created from scratch, as replicating an existing calibre by hand was not an option. New technical solutions such as redesigning some parts of the movement in order to simplify them were necessary, while other mechanisms such as the tourbillon and the number of components had to be increased to allow each part to be handmade. The timepiece’s relatively modest dimensions -43.5mm diameter and 13.5mm thickness- did not facilitate any of these tasks. The only components not to be made by hand are the sapphire crystals, case gaskets, spring-bars, jewels and mainspring.
More than 800 individual parts were produced to obtain the 308 components that form the watch. It also takes 35 times longer to make the complete tourbillon cage than it does for a standard high-end tourbillon. Considering those facts and figures, and seeing as the timepiece will be created as just 2 or 3 timepieces per year, the uniqueness of the Hand Made 1 is beyond parallel!